Update on the WATCHTOWER DATABASE

The Watchtower Database continues to grow and evolve! Despite being in the middle of a pandemic, we’ve been lucky to continue creating steady content, and a lot of that energy and excitement goes to my channel cohorts James Strecker and Mattie Washburn. Bi-weekly coverage on BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE digital comic book series by Paul Dini, Alan Burnett and Ty Templeton has provided a consistent topic for coverage, and time in the zeitgeist for this niche fandom.

In light of the “12th Level Intellects” podcast, we have also conducted interviews with various creatives who worked on DC Comics animated series, such as writer Eric Carrasco and director Sam Liu from JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. FATAL FIVE feature film, as well as director Dan Riba who worked on animated series like BATMAN, SUPERMAN, BATMAN BEYOND, STATIC SHOCK, and JUSTICE LEAGUE. Such an incredible opportunity to discuss the craft with these cartoonists, and we’ve got even more on the way. The Dan Riba video was only part one of three, and we also spoke with writer Randy Rogel about his work on BATMAN and ANIMANIACS.

Aside from interviews, I also worked on several other videos, particularly a preliminary reading list for BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE where I compiled various books that Paul Dini and Ty Templeton had worked on in the animated DC Universe, and was joined by Owen Likes Comics who handled the latter half of the video where he revealed some of the mainstream Batman comics that featured characters like Deathstroke, Azrael, and Jason Tood who were set to appear in the DCAU for the first time in BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE.

Near the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the Watchtower Database participated in the first At Home Comic Con. We spearheaded a panel with guests Chris Lord and Cameron Dexter from the Timm Talk podcast where we read through the script for THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES episode “Legends of the Dark Knight.” I was the voice of classic chummy Batman, Mattie was an excellent Joker, James Strecker was an A+ narrator, and the Timm Talk fellas were pretty funny too. At Home Comic Con was organized by Comic Drake, Matt Draper, and Owen Likes Comics, and featured many other prominent comics based YouTube channels, some you may even know yourself. I don’t know what you watch on the internet.

My most recent video essay was all about Batman and Superman aka the “World’s Finest.” I wrote a gigantic script tracing all of the team-ups between the two superheroes throughout the DC Animated Universe before their more regular meetings in the JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoon, which casual fans will recall was only three or four episodes, but I found many more obscure moments to relate.

Watchtower Database shares weekly free videos every Sunday on YouTube, but available earlier for supporters on Patreon. We have also started live streaming weekly on Twitch where every Tuesday, James Strecker reads an issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES to determine its canonicity with the animated series, every Wednesday is a live video game played by me (usually for the first time, so it can be funny feeling it out in front of an audience), and Thursdays with Mattie Washburn, currently working through a reading of the BATMAN: RISE OF SIN TZU video game novelization. Good times are happening on the Twitch channel these days.

I have more video essays in the works right now; the history of Wonder Woman in the DCAU and the long road before her appearance on JUSTICE LEAGUE (timed to coincide with the release of WONDER WOMAN 84 in October), also an essay on director Tim Burton’s early influence and involvement on BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, another “Casting Call” episode spotlighting various voice actors in the DCAU on Elfrem Zimbalist Jr. who played Alfred and Tara Strong who has voiced Batgirl and Harley Quinn, and speculation on what the “Rann/Thanagar War” might have looked like in the DCAU, all leading up to a big livestream event to celebrate the channel’s five year anniversary on September 17th. Be sure to follow @dcauwatchtower on social media so you don’t miss that announcement and more!

12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS and beyond

The 12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS podcast reached the landmark of 52 episodes, and at its consistent biweekly release schedule, that means a complete full two year anniversary! However, the podcast will soon be taking a break after the finale episode in order to reexamine our approach, format, and technology. For this last batch of episodes, we comment on a funny fan-made “Exposed” video focused on the WATCHTOWER DATABASE, the host YouTube channel for podcast, review the latest MCU film SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, recap all the relevant news that came out of 2019 San Diego Comic Con, discuss the drama behind Spider-Man’s in-and-out relationship with Disney and Sony, and review Jim Henson’s original cult-classic fantasy film THE DARK CRYSTAL with podcast guest Rome Widenhouse.

The 50th episode was a discussion on the final story arc in YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS as well as the induction of Mattie Washburn as an official 12th Level Intellect, though he had been making regular appearances on the podcast for some time. Now a total of three geeky incels (that’s a joke), we review the JOKER film directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, and consider whether the upcoming action figure line “Batman: The Adventure Continues” will be considered in DCAU continuity as the package bios by Paul Dini seem to suggest. Look for a bold new direction from the 12th Level Intellects in early 2020 and beyond!

12th Level Intellects: Mar-June ’19

12th Level Intellects— the geek news podcast co-hosted by myself, Ted Kendrick, and James Strecker– is continuing steadily forward on its bi-weekly schedule with the Watchtower Database, available for listen on Apple, YouTube, and several other podcast platforms. Ironically for this batch of episodes, we lived in a world where superhero cinema received two Captain Marvel movies in one month; the Marvel Studios entry with Brie Larson and DC Entertainment’s SHAZAM!, though the character stopped using the name Captain Marvel within the last decade.

We took a swerve in topic to discuss the launch of GAME OF THRONES season 8 with my friend and GOT expert John Morse, which ended up getting one of the lowest listening counts in the podcast’s history. I suppose the audience didn’t transfer into wanting to hear us talk about GAME OF THRONES. The rest of the world didn’t seem satisfied with how season 8 ultimately played out either. After that flop of an episode, we stuck to discussing AVENGERS: ENDGAME and going through THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES episodes like the fanbase truly wants.

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX was the final chapter in FOX’s X-MEN franchise after its acquisition by Disney, the film landed with a more expensive flop after an attempt to recreate the same storyline from X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, regarded by many to be the worst installment of the series. On a more positive note, 12th Level Intellects tried its first livestream video podcast, which went pretty well after about 15 minutes of technical difficulties, to chat about the release of the latest LEGACIES OF THE DCAU webcomic issue, “Anno Domini: Prebirth”, the first installment of stories set specifically in the canonical year of 2019 in the DCAU.

12th Level Intellects: Jan-Feb. ’19

The 12th Level Intellects podcast continues on its biweekly geeky schedule with new episodes every other Monday on the Watchtower Database. The show is hosted by myself, Ted Kendrick, along with James Strecker. In the latest batch of episodes, we discuss newer cinematic theatrical releases such as AQUAMAN and SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, and DC animated properties like the first half of YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS which premiered on the DC Universe service in January, and the REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN direct-to-video feature film which was an adaptation of the legendary comic book story arc of the same name. Featured guests included Brian Day to discuss YOUNG JUSTICE, and cartoonist Erich Reinhard to chat about his comic inspirations that don’t have capes.

WDb // Geeky Gentlemen talk LEGACIES

Geeky Gentlemen were a featured guest on the 12th Level Intellects podcast, hosted by James Strecker and myself for the Watchtower Database, also home to our webcomic LEGACIES OF THE DCAU. A few months ago, the Geeky Gentlemen reviewed LEGACIES in a 30 minute video on their YouTube channel, which they do often for high quality works of fan-fiction. They invited us onto their show to reply to their critiques, and in turn, we had them on 12th Level Intellects to analyze another similar DCAU fanfic webcomic DARK KNIGHT ADVENTURES.

I was honored that Ian and Justin took the time to dive deep into the LEGACIES webcomic, because their feedback was so valuable. They had valid criticisms along with utmost praise such as “Better than DC Comics’ FUTURE’S END series” and “The most qualified people aside from the show-runners to continue this universe.” It was a surreal experience to know that my unofficial DC superhero stories are striking a chord with an actual audience, who not only enjoy the read, but intimately analyze the webcomic as well, which is exactly what I was hoping for, since I always plant so many easter eggs, references, and such for the DCAU.

Check out the Geeky Gentlemen’s original review for LEGACIES OF THE DCAU on their YouTube channel above, and watch the Watchtower Database’s guest appearance and response to the webcomic critiques in the rebuttal video below.

WDb // website update

The WATCHTOWER DATABASE upgraded its website to serve as more of a landing board for all things related to the channel, including the YouTube video essays, 12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS biweekly geeky podcast, LEGACIES OF THE DCAU webcomic which bridges the gap between the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED and BATMAN BEYOND animated series, and much more. Check it out at the link below.

http://www.watchtowerdatabase.com

Posted by Watchtower Database on Sunday, November 18, 2018

THAT 828 VIBE podcast

That 828 Vibe podcast, hosted by Julio Ortiz and Kenny Stempien, had me on to talk Artificial Ink Creative. I plugged Watchtower Database, 12th Level Intellects, STEAMPUNK EDDIE, and POP-POP IS DEAD. We also chat THE LION KING trailer, and dissect my favorite song from the original soundtrack, which naturally, I chose “Hakuna Matata.” It means, “No worries.” Listen to the episode at the link below: 

https://www.buzzsprout.com/185005/876357-s2-e4-the-lion-king-w-ted-kendrick

12th Level Intellects: Aug-Nov. ’18

The 12th Level Intellects biweekly geekly podcast hosted by James Strecker and myself, Ted Kendrick, continued its 2018 schedule from August to November, which was actually a bit of a feat considering that the Watchtower Database took an extended break during the month of November. However, James and I still found some time to get an episode recorded whenever necessary though.


This batch of episodes sees the podcast’s first anniversary with episode #26, an exciting landmark, and partly why we pushed ahead to maintain the schedule. We also started recording at nights rather than in the morning, which I think has created a more energized air around the show. The Watchtower Database has since grown to include 27k subscribers, and each episode of 12th Level Intellects receives a few thousand views with each episode. It’s great to see the show grow.


In these episode, we discussed everything from the DEATH OF SUPERMAN animated feature film, live action blockbusters like MANDY and VENOM, THE TITANS both animated and live action, BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES nostalgia, MISTER MIRACLE comic series review, as well as interviewed the music composers behind DCAU cartoons, and answered some questions from our followers and fans.

12th Level Intellects: June & July ’18

The 12th Level Intellects– a biweekly geeky podcast hosted by James Strecker and myself– released five more episodes in June and July 2018, so you could say that it has been a busy summer! We reviewed recent theatrical films like DEADPOOL 2 and SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, and the trailers for AQUAMAN and SHAZAM! which were unveiled at Comic-Con International 2018 in San Diego, California. 

Per the podcast’s usual DCAU slant, we also analyzed the cartoons’ influence on modern comics and films, discussed fan theories for BATMAN BEYOND, and interviewed Matthew Valencia, voice actor of the second Robin, Tim Drake, from BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Check it all out at the embedded videos below, or stream on iTunes. As always, the podcast is hosted by the Watchtower Database.

Dip into the ARTIFICIAL INK

Artificial Ink Creative, LLC is a limited liability company for creative services, specializing in the development and production of trans-media entertainment and intellectual properties, as well as an ever-evolving, experimental project hub to track the visionary endeavors of Asheville, NC based storyteller Ted Kendrick.

Artificial works are produced by people, rather than occurring organically in nature. When breaking away from blueprints, mankind acts as little gods; sometimes in the collaborative spirit of the Greek Pantheon, else-when in the efforts of Artifice, where the fabric of reality can warp in the act of sublime craft. Never strictly Official, always Art, or better; Artificial.

Ink is the liquid used to flow ideas to fruition through writing, drawing, and printing, as well as the verb that solidifies a business contract, and the abbreviation for Incorporated. Artificial Ink Creative merges the worlds of Ink and Inc., and creates Something out of Nothing with digital content from a quality Quill, whether that pen is formed by feather, porcupine, or toothpick.

Ted Kendrick has served as a Creative Executive at Social Construct Films, Marketing Coordinator for Cat Fly Film Festival, and Marketing Director for Escapist Comix. He was an Associate Producer on feature film THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE, and Producer on short film GOOD HAIR with Coki Productions. He contributes to the Watchtower Database as a host on the 12th Level Intellects podcast, and writer on webcomic LEGACIES of the DC Animated Universe. Ted holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Contact for questions, comments, or services: artificial.ink.creative@gmail.com